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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Part of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust
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English progression map


The overarching aim for children within the English National Curriculum is to be able to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. The curriculum promotes high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and develops their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. In Key Stage 1, we use the Floppy Phonics scheme for the teaching of Phonics.

At St Mary’s, we are dedicated to encouraging all children to be passionate about writing. During their time at St Mary’s, all children will be exposed to a high-quality education in English. Pupils will be taught how to plan, revise, and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition. Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing.


·        Carefully designed text-led learning journeys, with a clear starting point and end outcome. The writing sequence includes teaching of specific text-type features, contextualised punctuation and grammar objectives and spelling rules suitable for the unit before the children reconstruct and independently produce a piece of their own writing.

·         Cross-curricular writing based on learning in other subjects.

·         Tasks which are designed to engage, support, and challenge all learners.

·        Opportunities are given to apply taught skills in other areas of the curriculum.

·        Whole school writing days/weeks, followed by opportunities for children to share their learning across school.

·        Use of Pobble for model texts, celebrating work and moderation of writing across school.

·         High importance is placed on the children editing their own writing in their journey to becoming competent, independent writers. Children’s first attempts at writing are in pencil/black pen, with self-editing attempts in red pen. Children peer-edit using red pens to show appreciation of each other’s work. Following adult feedback, further editing happens with red. This ensures a visible learning journey.


·         Daily handwriting activities.

·         Taught handwriting lessons each week.

Handwriting policy

Progression document


·         From Y1-6, children have weekly spelling lessons using Spelling Shed, this can also be accessed to support learning at home.

·         Year 1-6, weekly spelling tests.

·         Teaching of the Common Exception words during English lessons.

·         Daily systematic teaching of Phonics is taught in EYFS/Key Stage 1, following the Floppy’s Phonics programme, which is closely linked to the reading scheme. The phonic session comprises of: revisit and review (using Floppy flashcards and frieze resource), teach (using the Floppy flashcards and PowerPoint resource), practise (using the Floppy practise sheets and other appropriate provision) and apply (using the cumulative texts for reading practice and the grapheme tiles for spelling practice).

Grammar and Punctuation

·         Grammar objectives are taught explicitly through English units of work.

·         Evidence of the taught SPAG is then expected to be seen in pieces of extended writing at the end of the unit.

·         Teachers use success criteria to ensure that children apply this knowledge to their work.



When children leave St Mary’s, their writing will be of a high standard. They will have developed skills to use in their future learning and they will be able to apply their writing skills to other areas of their learning. We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line with or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using both formative and summative assessment opportunities, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group.



At St Mary’s, we strongly value the importance of reading in everyday life and we want our children to be confident, fluent readers who read for both meaning and pleasure.   We develop pupils’ reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge and language and encourage our children to read fiction, non-fiction texts and prose.  Our ambitious curriculum is designed around the needs of the children in our school and there are a variety of approaches to enable all children to make rapid progress from their starting point.

Reading is at the heart of all our English lessons. By reading extensively and frequently and through choosing quality texts, we want children to develop a lifelong love of reading, enabling children to recognise the pleasure they can get from their reading, as well as an understanding that reading allows them to discover new knowledge, revisit prior knowledge and understand more about what they learn, fuelling their imagination for ideas to use in their own work


Phonics: Early reading starts with phonics.  We follow the Floppy’s Phonic scheme to teach our children in EYFS and Key Stage 1.

Reading Scheme: We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme to provide a wide variety of appropriate quality texts for children to read covering all genres.  All our books are ‘banded’ to ensure progression and challenge for all children and these book bands are monitored regularly by both class teachers and the Reading lead, ensuring children are making appropriate progress.   Each child reads independently with their class teacher at least once per half term to ensure that their allocated book is closely matched to their ability.  We have a weekly Reading Raffle to encourage reading at home, this involves Reading Records being checked weekly to ensure the expectation of being heard read by an adult at home 3 times per week is being met, children are then given a raffle ticket and have the opportunity to win a book of their choice at the end of term if their ticket is selected.

Reading across school: Reading forms the core of our English curriculum. In order to expose children to a variety of genres, books are purposefully selected by teachers in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child. These books are set out on our long-term plans.  Where possible, books are chosen with cross-curricular links to give learning more purpose and to make it more memorable. Our chosen books are then used within a learning journey, exposing our pupils to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and grammatical concepts and characterisation.

We have guided reading sessions daily. These sessions are all planned by teachers in order to teach the skills of vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval, sequencing and summarising. Within one of the sessions, children are given the opportunity to provide written responses to questions.

We have a number of Reading interventions in place across school if children need some extra support with either word recognition or comprehension and the impact of these support groups is monitored regularly.  

Progress in reading is monitored by termly Reading Assessments. 

Reading for Pleasure: At St. Marys, we encourage a love of reading both in school and at home. To ensure that all children have access to a range of books, all classrooms have a reading area that children are free to use and these reading areas are refreshed regularly including some non-fiction texts to match the current Topics being covered in other subject areas.  Children are given the opportunities to recommend books to peers.  Our children are also encouraged to use our school library regularly, giving them a chance to choose books which interest them.  We also value the importance of being read to at St Mary’s.  Daily story time sessions are timetabled in and the class teacher reads to the class using carefully and appropriately chosen books.  These sessions provide a quality model for reading and time for children to enjoy being read to.

Wider experiences: Reading is not only celebrated during lessons at St. Mary’s. Throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, library visits, assemblies and participation in the Summer Reading Challenge.  All of these opportunities assist in enriching and complimenting the children’s learning.  Parents are supported in reading with their children by phonics evenings and book marks sent home with suggested questions to use when hearing their child read.



·      Show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading


·       Children will rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of the alphabetic code and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently and with automaticity by following Floppy’s Phonics


·       Apply a knowledge of systematic synthetic phonics to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed


·      Children will read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction


·      Pupils will acquire a wider vocabulary


·      Develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge


·      Children will develop a love of reading


·       Read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis


·       Through their reading, develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually;


·      Develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge


·      Recognise that their reading knowledge and understanding will be required and applied in other areas of the curriculum


·      Show high levels of achievement and exhibit a love of reading


·      Are positive, enthusiastic and curious about their learning in reading and strive to achieve their full potential


·      Demonstrate our school values of unity, respect, joy, love and courage through their approach to their learning

Reading Progression Document


During guided reading we use VIPERS texts for discussion, word reading and comprehension.

What are Vipers?

VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.

VIPERS stands for






Sequence or Summarise

The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc.  As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions.  They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.

KS1 Reading VIPERS

KS2 Reading VIPERS